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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Our ninth cruise first with holland america,cruised mainly celebrity and one cunard. The ship was consistantly cold rattled and vibrated non stop for the whole 3 weeks. First time i have had seasickness. 1 port in hawaii was cancelled ... Read More
Our ninth cruise first with holland america,cruised mainly celebrity and one cunard. The ship was consistantly cold rattled and vibrated non stop for the whole 3 weeks. First time i have had seasickness. 1 port in hawaii was cancelled due to weather, but 2 were cancelled in ensenada and victoria for maintenance ,trouble with an azipod ,was that why the ship continually vibrated. Only attended one enrichment lecture ghis was poorly presented with lighting on stage and poor speaker. Entertainment was badly lacking walking into bars at night about 9pm was like the marie celeste , there was o nly bartenders around. Billboard piano players were awful bland boring excrutiati g to listen to. Bb king club was lively music better but this was the same act every night for 20 days if you didnt like blues /motown you were unlucky. Lincoln centre was enjoyable if they were playing music you like but they had to cater for all the ship and was set up like a concert except it was open to one of the corridors and people talki g walking past. Mainstage had a few good acts( outstanding was benjamin makisi) ,if you were stood/ sat at back there was a lot of noise from billboard pianists though i supposd you got two concerts at same time. There was not a lot of dressing up even on gala nights a lot of guests looked scruffy. . Food was good , in main di ing room and lido buffet,wine choice on signature package was barely drinkable. I would not sail on the eurodam again even if i was offered it free. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are loyal Holland American cruisers and within a few points of 4 star Mariners. This 28 day cruise was a great disappointment when it came to the quality of the food in the Lido and for the most part, the main dining room. We have been ... Read More
We are loyal Holland American cruisers and within a few points of 4 star Mariners. This 28 day cruise was a great disappointment when it came to the quality of the food in the Lido and for the most part, the main dining room. We have been on the Eurodam before and just couldn't believe how poor the dining experience has become. We used the Lido for breakfast but nothing else and eventually gave up with the main dining room. To get around it we used the Pinacle for lunch and the other specialty restaurants when necessary. As usual the service in all areas was wonderful and the key that keeps us coming back to Holland America. There can be improvements with the availability of live entertainment and they have severely changed the Signature Beverage Package limiting the selections of beer and wine to the point that we probably will no longer purchase it on future cruises. This cruise was an eye opener for us and the cutbacks are now coming to the point where we will be reconsidering using Holland America in the future. There are many other cruise lines available and the quality of the Holland America staff can't continue to offset the recent cutbacks. If necessary they may need to increase prices, but leaving things as they are will be suicide. We intend to give Holland America one more try, but if improvements aren't made it will unfortunately be our last. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First time sailing with so many sea days. Little to nothing was planned as entertainment for days at sea. Fitness center was excellent. Hawaii was great, the excursions were awesome, whale watching and copter over the big island was ... Read More
First time sailing with so many sea days. Little to nothing was planned as entertainment for days at sea. Fitness center was excellent. Hawaii was great, the excursions were awesome, whale watching and copter over the big island was great. Food was good, but portions were small and seconds cost $10. Beef Wellington came and I got the tip of the filet, smaller than a meatball. For dessert ordered ice cream, dish came and appeared to have scooped with a melon baller. New York Pizza had no prices, paid $28 for cardboard and ketchup. No on ship singers and dancers, report was they were cut to save money. One evening the entertainment was a movie you could see on BBC America. Room steward for good, if not a little over eager. Came several times at 6:00 PM for nighttime turn down when I was dressing for dinner. For the money, traveling as a single, I expected more and got less. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We've been on HAL before and we never had any issues. We chose this cruise as we have always enjoyed sea days, we like Hawaii and it was very easy for us as we departed and returned via our home port. The positives: Professional ... Read More
We've been on HAL before and we never had any issues. We chose this cruise as we have always enjoyed sea days, we like Hawaii and it was very easy for us as we departed and returned via our home port. The positives: Professional and helpful crew, including check-in personnel. Attractive public spaces including the main dining room, the theatre and the bars. The negatives: Cabin. Our cabin was a spa suite. The online description indicated a larger space. It was larger but otherwise, terrible. The furniture was worn out and frayed. The carpet had several large stains. The bathroom was the smallest we’ve ever had on our past 20 cruises (with various cruise companies). A tiny bathroom with one sink in a ‘suite,’ seriously? There was a large empty wall with four holes that were covered with tape. (We were told by our attendant that the space used to have a TV; when the TV was removed the holes were not patched.) The WORST part of the suite was that the very small balcony had a metal wall; you could only see the sea when you were standing. If you sat in one of the two chairs you were staring at a metal wall! HAL should have warned us when we booked this suite. Dining. The quality of the food was hit and miss. Some very good and some, yuk. When one of the four of us didn’t like a dish we were not asked by a waiter if we would like something else. One time we asked for another entrée and we were politely told that there would be a $10 charge for an additional entree! The waiter was not trying to scam us; that was on the bottom of the menu in small print. NEVER heard of paying for a second entrée on any other ship. I want to point out that the servers were very nice but it seemed like they were overworked; we could hardly get any assistance once our food was served. As an example, when I ordered hot tea I got the cup and the tea bag but could not find anyone to bring me hot water—this happened two evenings. In the buffet they were featuring seafood one day; we went to get some shrimp and the attendant would only give each of us six shrimp. If we wanted more we’d have to get back in the one long line. The Retreat. We decided to rent a cabana for the 17 days so that we could have a nice outdoor place to get away from the crowds. It was lovely and the service by the staff in the Retreat was very good. However, the maintenance and smells from that were over and over. After the third day of workers sanding, scraping, varnishing, etc. in the Retreat area we complained to guest services. We were assured that the workers would not be in our area again. WRONG. Two days later a worker was applying some type of sealant (identified by a ship’s officer) in the cabana next to us. No warning! All of us had to leave. Then on the next to the last day the cleaning crew was working on the deck immediately above the Retreat area and we got sprayed a few times by their water hose. Retribution? Who knows? Entertainment. On every cruise we’ve been on (same size ships) there has been some type of production show. Not on the Eurodam. One light show with dancers was very good. Otherwise really poor. For example; one show was animal video clips, ones we had seen at home on National Geographic, set to music. What? Showing stuff we’ve seen for free at home on our TV. That’s entertainment? I will say that a couple of singular entertainers were good; otherwise very disappointing. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are a married couple in our 60's. This was our 17th cruise overall, but our first on Holland America. We were cruising with our regular cruise companions, another couple in their 60's. We have cruised on Celebrity, ... Read More
We are a married couple in our 60's. This was our 17th cruise overall, but our first on Holland America. We were cruising with our regular cruise companions, another couple in their 60's. We have cruised on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Carnival in the past. We normally take cruises of 10-14 days so this 17 day cruise was our longest yet. Rating this cruise itself is difficult as it was a bust in that we only saw two of the five scheduled stops in Hawaii. This was mostly because of bad weather. So rather than focusing on the cruise we will provide our observations of Holland America in general. The Eurodam is a beautiful ship and the perfect size. The service was outstanding. The food was great. The entertainment was enjoyable. Embarkation and Debarkation were as easy as any ship on which we have traveled. Why then only three stars? Using a baseball analogy, it is widely accepted that many of the cruisers on Holland America recognize that they (we) are in at least the bottom half of the seventh inning in life. What we want to do with the last two innings is based on our individual prospective. The great majority of HA travelers are like travelers on the other lines we have been on only with a few more of life's scars. They want to have a good time, enjoy the scenery, the food, the drinks and everything else that can be found on a cruise ship. Life has been tougher on some than to others and HA seems to have experience dealing with those issues. This was scheduled to be a seventeen day round trip cruise from San Diego to the Hawaiian Islands with stops in Kona, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui and Hilo on the Big Island. Because of predicted bad weather the captain decided to by-pass Kona and head straight to Honolulu. When we arrived in Honolulu the wind was strong and all of the afternoon tours, including the luau's were cancelled. We were then told that because of bad weather predicted for Kauai (they suffered a severe storm) we would not go there. When the weather forecast did not improve we were told we would be staying in Honolulu an extra day and then return to Kona the following day. This meant that Lahaina, Maui would be taken off our schedule. No excursions were available through the ship for the second day in Honolulu so everyone was on their own. The following day we arrived in Kona, a port where the ship's tenders are needed to go ashore. We did not drop anchor. Even though the seas looked calm to most with no white-caps to be seen anywhere, the captain decided the harbor was too dangerous to transport people on the tenders. As fairly seasoned cruisers we realized that we had been in tenders in much worse than we were witnessing in Kona and that got us thinking as to why that decision was made. Our reasoning is that because we were traveling with so many people with considerable life issues it would be impractical, if not impossible, to transport all those people safely with the crew that was available to assist them. Therefore, we lost our third port and we headed back out for another sea day. We have been on cruises where ports were missed and we understand that is always a possibility. What made this tough for us this time was that in lieu of going to Kona or Maui as scheduled the cruise director suggested people could gather for a game of CHECKERS in one of the lounges! When we arrived in Hilo for a last possible Hawaiian stop the gangway was not put into position at the designated time. The captain advised us that because of rough water the gangway was not holding steady and a safe walk off the ship may not be possible. He was assessing the situation. I think he may have heard the mumblings of the several hundred of us who had gathered in the atrium and the gangway was opened shortly thereafter. We had a great day in Hilo doing a private tour with a company known as Big Island Aina Tours that we HIGHLY RECOMMEND. We spent the next six days sailing back to Ensenada, Mexico and then on to San Diego for debarkation. While the cruise was not what we had planned or hoped for, we still had a great time. (If you can't enjoy yourself on a cruise ship chances are pretty good that you can't enjoy yourself). Getting back to that baseball analogy: If you are a person who enjoys some of the finer things in life and just wants to live with grace and dignity during the last few innings you can have a really nice time on Holland America. You can't beat the service or the food. But, if you have the problem we have in that you still live with the allusion that there may be at least one more headfirst slide into home left in you (albeit in slow motion), HA may not be the place for you. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise to go to Hawaii Round trip from San Diego. We have been on 3 prior HA cruises and enjoyed ourselves. We booked the cruise a year earlier and friends cruised on the Eurodam last August with no issues. We were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise to go to Hawaii Round trip from San Diego. We have been on 3 prior HA cruises and enjoyed ourselves. We booked the cruise a year earlier and friends cruised on the Eurodam last August with no issues. We were not informed of any of the following money saving changes: No singers and dancers and orchestra, 5 piece band replaced. Entertainers, comedians, singer, musician were good. Dancers to light show with recorded music also was entertaining. A repeat of the show a second night was a waste, as was showing a movie. Numerous changes in the Dining room resulted in smaller portions, fewer choices, $10 charge if you wanted a second entre at lunch or dinner. No bread basket at breakfast. Both the card room and game room were rented out to Quilters for the entire cruise. No Bridge director. No Art Auction Dining Room closed for lunch on at least 4 of the last 5 sea days. Stores were taken over by high end merchandise: no small souvenirs. Very friendly staff and great cruisers. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because being HAL Past Guests (Mariners) we received a promotion that we could not let pass, as this cruise was on our bucket list. This was our 17th cruise overall, our first one being on our honeymoon 47 years ... Read More
We chose this cruise because being HAL Past Guests (Mariners) we received a promotion that we could not let pass, as this cruise was on our bucket list. This was our 17th cruise overall, our first one being on our honeymoon 47 years ago. We have cruised on Costa Line (honeymoon in 1972 and Mediterranean in 1991); Carnival, Celebrity and HAL. As seasoned cruisers, we have developed expectations as to our experiences on board. I will be basing this review on whether our expectations were met on this cruise. We flew to San Diego from San Antonio, TX (direct flight on Southwest). We had arranged transfer through HAL. The transfer service was efficient and personnel were friendly. I highly recommend arranging a transfer ahead of time. Embarkation went smoothly. The only glitch was that we had Priority Embarkation and although our bags were tagged as such, we did not receive our luggage until 4pm. The Eurodam is a beautiful ship, with understated elegance. The five days at sea were fantastic. The activities during the day were well planned. There was something for everybody. Kudos to the activities director! Sometimes we had trouble deciding what to do because of the amount of varied activities offered.Our favorite activities were the talks in the theater about Hawaiian history, given by a Hawaiian with so much knowledge about his land! There were Hawaiian ambassadors on board (as well as on the 5 days at sea returning to San Diego) who provided their personal insight in the history and culture of Hawaii. We learned the Hawaiian alphabet, there were hula and ukulele classes, classes to make leis and kukui bead bracelets, sunset celebrations with chants, beautiful and authentic hula dancing and sing alongs. These were fabulous. We felt like we were in Hawaii since Day One. I praised and thanked the Port Guides and the ambassadors for giving us this unique experience. One thing they told us that if we liked the experience we need to let HAL know, because with budget cuts this program might cease. I made sure to let HAL know that this a must. As long as I am talking about entertainment, let me talk about the evening events. In the evenings there was a pianist in the Ocean Bar (5pm to 7:45pm). If you wanted to dance you could, in a dance floor big enough for perhaps three couples, but the music, although good, was mainly for entertainment. Then there was the 'B B King Lounge', (3 shows nightly, one hour each), with jazz and blues, and themed music. The dance floor here is fairly comfortable, but the seats on the main floor and in the bar area fill up quickly. This was the only venue conducive to dancing. 'Billboards on Board' are two pianists on two pianos, singing and encouraging sing-alongs. This was fun. They had 3 shows nightly, each one one hour long. They had themed nights and took requests and were very popular. They are not HAL employees. Apparently they are contracted, although there is a Billboards Bar with HAL bar staff. But, no dancing here. For us, a highlight was the 'Lincoln Center Stage', a partnership between HAL and the 'Lincoln Center'. There is a strings quintet who give 3 performances, one in the afternoon and two in the evenings. As the cruise went on they were performing to Standing Room Only crowds. They are classically trained musicians with a varied repertoire, from chamber music to popular songs, arranged especially for them. We always went to the shows before and after dinner. They are a treasure, and HAL should feel proud of having this partnership. The musicians are provided by the Lincoln Center, they are not HAL employees. Contrary to daytime, there is a lack of variety and originality at night. Other than the theater shows, this was it for the evenings, unless you are a gambler (we are not), the "Sip and Savor' and Sampling events for a fee, (another way to get your money), the Jewelry shops spotlights, and.....Bingo. As for the theater shows: there are no more review shows with dancers and singers in HAL. This was a big disappointment. The shows were generally good though. There were two comedians, both hilarious; a magician/comedian who was excellent; a pianist/comedian, very talented and funny; a clarinetist and a guitarist (both talented but more suitable to a lounge venue than a theater); an Australian singer with an amazing range of voice. Our very favorite were 'The Alley Cats', a Doo Wop quartet that are bringing back the a-capella singing with that 50's feel. They are beyond fabulous. Think 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight', 'Goodnight Sweetheart' and you get the idea. They brought the house down. There was also the BBC Planet Earth with live musicians. This is thrilling. The night the Philippines crew did their authentic show, there was not an empty seat in the house. Having said that, the 'show' one evening was a movie we could have watched in our rooms. Thumbs down on this one. One show that was fantastic, and not to be missed is "Humanity" by Step One Dance Company. This blew our minds. Although the majority of the acts were great, many comments were heard, as well as the Cruise Director being asked about the lack of the review shows. Is HAL trying to save money by cutting the review shows? Service around the ship was excellent, meeting our expectations. The only draw back was that whenever we asked for a glass of water at a bar or the theater, we were either ignored or served with reluctance. I know there is no remuneration for water, but we are paying guests and if we want water we should get it without reservations. If we ordered cocktails or wine, there was no problem. Our cabin steward exceeded our expectations. He made sure our flowers were fresh and the fruit replenished. He noticed my husband had a mild cold, so he brought us extra tissues so we had them anywhere in the cabin. He was attentive and caring. Dining: we had Open Seating. The first night service was horrible. The assistant waiter came and served water and gave us the menu. Did not say Good Night or greet us in any way. Then the head waiter came with his notepad ready and without introducing himself he asked for our order. My husband ordered steak and had to ask for a steak knife. One of the assistant waiters was talking to someone on the other side of the half wall dividing our section from the one on a level one step above. He was joking and yelling right behind us. This is not right. Our experience was not what we are accustomed on a cruise. When we made reservations for subsequent nights we were specific not to seat us at that table or his section. We found a good team and asked to stay with them if possible. We did and were very happy with them, as expected. Food was hit and miss, but overall good. Be aware that HAL is now charging a $10 surcharge if you order a second entree. This does not apply to appetizers, salads or soups, or desserts, just entrees. They also charge $20 surcharge for lobster. We ate at the four Specialty Restaurants: Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind, Canaletto, and Rudi's. Rudi's is the Pinnacle Grill transformed into a Chef Rudi restaurant with his recipes and ambiance. They were all a delight, with superb service and amazing food. Also, because of the Neptune Suite, we could have breakfast at the Pinnacle Grill (included). Fabulous service and a great menu. We did this on sea days. The Photo Shop has not gone electronic. No more looking through thousands of photos to find yours, and then see hundreds thrown away. This is fantastic! I gave kudos to the staff. You insert your card in a computer and through a face-recognition program the computer finds your photos and you buy them as if you were buying from home online. Shore excursions: varied and well planned. The excursions followed the descriptions in the brochure. These are the excursions we took: Honolulu: Pearl Harbor and the Mighty Missouri. This is a must if you like history and this is your first visit to Hawaii. The "gangway" to the Arizona Memorial is damaged and unsteady so we did not go inside the Memorial. We knew this so it did not catch us by surprise. You are standing right in front of Battleship Row, where everything happened. Goose bumps! They showed a movie that was informative and poignant so we did not feel like we had missed much by not visiting the actual Memorial. Then we boarded a Navy launch to go the Missouri. On the ride we took great photos of the Arizona Memorial and the other markers. The Missouri is impressive. Standing there where the Japanese surrender actually happened was exciting to say the least. We also went to the Punchbowl, the National Pacific Cemetery, and saw highlights of Honolulu including the King Kamahameha statue and the Iiolani Palace (photos only.) We still had time to go to a Luau. We thought about booking on our own, but the logistics of getting there and back were too risky, so we booked it with HAL. It was fun, food was great, seeing how they prepare the Kahlua Pork was interesting. I tried poi (my husband did not). I leave it up to you to decide if you like it or not, but it is something worth trying if you are in Hawaii. The show was colorful and pretty, but the audience participation got to be too much. Overall, it was fun. Kauai: we took a helicopter ride. This one we booked on our own. We read the reviews from the rides booked thru HAL and were not impressed. We booked Jack Harter Helicopters and cannot say enough about them. They were efficient throughout the process and answered all our questions before we got there. They picked us up at the pier. The ride was the most thrilling thing we have done in a long time. There are places in Kauai that are only seen from the air. We were not disappointed. This was a 65 minute ride, compared to 45 minutes with the HAL excursion. Highly recommend Jack Harter. (The helicopter views in Jurassic Park are in Kauai as well as in Maui.) Their driver took us back to town, which is within walking distance from the ship. We had a delicious lunch overlooking the ocean. Maui: Road to Hana. Reviews said this was an unpaved, windy road. It is now paved. There are many curves and bridges but the guide was so informative, and he made so many frequent stops that the time went fast. Scenery is gorgeous. The water falls are numerous and beautiful. We had lunch at Waianapanapa State Park, at the Honokalali beach, a unique black sand beach. Spectacular! We ate coconut ice cream, freshly made, and went to Ho'okipa beach to see leatherback turtles. This was a fun and informative excursion. Kona, Big Island: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Due to the recent eruption, most of the park was closed, as was the Thurston Lava Tube, but we were able to walk on lava fields from an 1868 eruption and learn everything about lava and volcanoes. The Kohala Coast gives amazing views. The Coffee Plantation is beautiful and Kona Coffee is fabulous. Try the apple bananas. The Punalu'u Bake Shop is a delicious stop. Our guide was fantastic. Hilo, Big Island: Historical Hilo and Akaka Falls. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. He moved to Hilo from Minnesota 22 years ago and does not regret it. Hilo is beautiful, full of history. We stopped at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory. There are the plain salted macadamias and macadamias covered in every kind of goodies. Their shop is very pretty. Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls are spectacular. The Lyman Museum and Mission House are very informative. Ensenada, Mexico: Bufadora Adventure. Bufadora is a specatacular blowhole, one of the biggest in the world. You have about an hour and a half in the Bufadora area. You walk about 20 minutes through a long street full of vendors of every kind. They will offer samples of margaritas, piña coladas, they will entice you to go to their shops. I suggest that unless you want to spend your time with one of them, say "No thank you"and keep walking. The blowhole's peak time is at high tide. We got there at low tide and the seas were calm. We waited patiently and saw quite a few big sprays, about 30 ft high. The spray can go 60-100 ft in the air with the right conditions. Our guide told us the best times are Nov to May. She was fantastic. We experienced a traffic jam going back but we were all in a good mood. Our last stop was an old hacienda that is now an activities center, and tried a margarita at the spot where the margaritas were invented. The story is fascinating. At the end of the tour we asked our guide where we could have fresh lobster and she recommended a restaurant that was a bit hard to find but worth it. The port guides on the ship give suggestions as well. Calle Primera (main street) is very picturesque and the break water (malecón in Spanish) is absolutely beautiful. Debarkation was smooth. no problems. Back in San Diego, we took the pre-arranged transfer to the airport. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The Holland America Eurodam is as old-fashioned a cruise ship as they come--with 3 "gala" nights with quite a few tuxedos in evidence on a 17-night cruise, with the towel animals and the chocolate buffet if you want them, and ... Read More
The Holland America Eurodam is as old-fashioned a cruise ship as they come--with 3 "gala" nights with quite a few tuxedos in evidence on a 17-night cruise, with the towel animals and the chocolate buffet if you want them, and with mostly senior cruisers at this time of year and on a cruise this length. But for those with a love of old-style cruising, the itineraries and the value really can't be beat. The Eurodam loses points for an interminably long line for check-in in San Diego (disembarkation was much more efficient) and for virtually no welcoming ritual (no champagne) but after that initial disappointment, what's not to like? Excellent food in the dining room and, for an extra price, at Tamarind, the Asian-fusion specialty restaurant--and good food, too, and lots of choices in the Lido buffet (once you figure out the times to come so you don't have to search relentlessly for an empty table). The staff is mostly Filipino and Indonesian and always smiling and eager to please; what pleased us most is that they truly seemed to be enjoying themselves and each other and took much pride in whatever task they took on. The public areas have recently been renovated are are quite glamorous--and we appreciated the vintage cruise ship photographs on the walls, the tasteful art (especially the stunning Bas Sebus print in our verandah cabin), and the many musical choices for listening. This wasn't a cruise of fervent dancers, but we could have danced every night ("Mustang Sally" to "Uptown Funk") at the fabulous BB King Blues Club. Our favorite things about this cruise were the two astonishing dance and light show performances by One Step Dance Company, truly, the most spectacular productions we've seen in more than 15 cruises and the superb culinary talks/demonstrations by the American Test Kitchen host Annette. No alcohol, or even bottled water, is included so bar tabs can quickly mount, but if you only want a glass or two of wine at dinner, drinks by the glass are probably the way to go. We signed up for free-style dining and, once we learned the right time to come, never had to wait for a table for two. This was a truly enjoyable, relaxing--and delicious--time. And we loved all those sea days! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Due to poor weather conditions the cruise missed 3 ports (Maui, Kona, Kuai) and left us onboard with no planned activities. No special rewards for our disappointment. The cabin was nice and the ship clean but due to the fact we were ... Read More
Due to poor weather conditions the cruise missed 3 ports (Maui, Kona, Kuai) and left us onboard with no planned activities. No special rewards for our disappointment. The cabin was nice and the ship clean but due to the fact we were stuck onboard there was a lot of sickness and coughing. We made port in Honolulu but were there for 2 days. The service and food were very good but the entertainment was ok and the shows were only 45 minutes in length. Our shore excursions had to be canceled due to the fact that we never made it into the 3 (in my opinion) more important ports. The cruise line offerer a small refund of $100.00 per person for our trouble and disappointment. I would also recommend travel insurance for cases like this. The medical staff was good but the charges were extreme. We would NEVER sail for that long on open water with no ports for that long. Disembarking was chaotic and a possible dangerous situation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty much the same as the three prior cruises we have taken. Don't bother getting to the pier until after noon unless you are intent on having lunch aboard ship. The crew was outstanding. ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty much the same as the three prior cruises we have taken. Don't bother getting to the pier until after noon unless you are intent on having lunch aboard ship. The crew was outstanding. Always friendly, smiling, anxious to please. The language barrier was seldom a problem, and when it was, simply asking for a repeat solved it. This ship has a capacity of around 2,000 passengers. I bet there were no more than 100 under the age of 65. There were literally more mobility scooters and walkers than children on the ship. That's one reason we selected HAL--a quiet, peaceful environment in which to enjoy our days at sea and meals in the dining venues. A huge storm hit Hawaii the same time we did. That meant that three of the five port calls in Hawaii were canceled. We were disappointed, but not terrifically so; we have been to Hawaii enough times to have experienced it pretty thoroughly. If it had been our first trip to the islands, I would have been seriously bummed. The ship itself was in very good shape. The furniture, decor, and cabin amenities were in excellent condition. The big TV in our Verandah cabin had useful ship's info (menus, weather, etc.) as well as TV shows and movies. My wife discovered that closed caption can be turned on in all the movies, not just those under the Closed Caption menu. We had Open Seating dining. We traveled with another couple. We would show up at the Main Dining Room around six each evening that we ate there, telling the maitre d that we wanted a table for four, not shared with others. On one formal night we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table, but in every other case we were seated either immediately or within five minutes. One disadvantage to our method is that we usually ended up at a table in the back, right above the azipods, where there was significant engine noise. Speaking of engine noise, I explored the various decks to see whether there was a location to avoid to get a quiet cabin. Surprisingly, the only areas that I could hear mechanical noise (at least in the passageways) was on the lower decks (A and 1), midship. I believe it was exhaust noise from the diesel engines. I was surprised that there wasn't mechanical noise near the aft cabins, since there sure was a lot of it in the main dining room in the tables at the back. Our cabin was nice, although the cabin I selected (5039) had a substandard size balcony. Our friends on the fourth deck, in the same class of cabin, had a regular-depth balcony. Speaking of balconies, we noticed that when we took the glass elevators midship, we could see the entire balconies for the cabins adjacent to those elevators. I would have been very unhappy to have such a public balcony. Overall, a great cruise. The staff, the ship, and the food were outstanding. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose the Eurodam because of its destination. We left a chilly and windy San Diego CA on February 2 sailing to Hawaii and back. The weather did not cooperate as we encountered rough seas all the way. It was necessary to cancel three of ... Read More
We chose the Eurodam because of its destination. We left a chilly and windy San Diego CA on February 2 sailing to Hawaii and back. The weather did not cooperate as we encountered rough seas all the way. It was necessary to cancel three of our ports for safety concerns. The ship staff and crew made the trip very enjoyable anyway. Entertainment was very good. No food complaints about the main dining room. Service and food were were fine. Selection was amazing. The captain is to be commended for taking excellent care of his passengers in rough weather. Our cruise director came up with several on board activities when we were unable to go ashore. We learned a lot in the America’s Test Kitchen where Annnette cooked up some great dishes. I would not hesitate to take another cruise with Holland America. This was our third and longest. They are a cruise line serving seniors well. If you want water slides and rock walls you will need to look elsewhere but if you want excellent service, food, and a spotless ship consider them. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Friends talked us into going on this cruise with them. Before this HAL was their favourite line ... now they've said they'll never cruise with them again. Horrendous doesn't begin to describe this. Constant maintenance ... Read More
Friends talked us into going on this cruise with them. Before this HAL was their favourite line ... now they've said they'll never cruise with them again. Horrendous doesn't begin to describe this. Constant maintenance (grinding rust most days for several hours), they closed the shops down, they closed the pools down, there was virtually no onboard entertainment (with the exception of the nightly show), few activities, and rude staff (not all of them, of course). Our cabin steward, Deny, was awesome - the best thing about the cruise. This ship should have been in dry dock but instead, greedy Holland America put it into service and did the maintenance while passengers were on board. Disgusting. You couldn't hold a conversation in the lounge because of the constant rust grinding going on. The gym was great - could always get onto the equipment. Only one gym instructor for the whole voyage. She worked from 6am-6pm every.single.day. Supposed to be two but this cruise line is so penny pinching. Onboard band was pretty good but they only played about four times. New Year's eve was a 'mentalist' - so bad half the audience walked out. Happy New Year! We've cruised many times but this was our most expensive and worst cruise ever. With the exception of breakfasts (waffles cooked to order with fresh fruit), the food was terrible. Christmas day consisted of boiled vegetables. We had asked for mashed potato but they were so incompetent they forgot to bring it. Merry Christmas! I complained to Holland America and they didn't give a toss. Tough luck ... but thanks for letting us know. NEVER. EVER. AGAIN. Do yourself a favour and go with a professional cruise line, like Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Cunard etc. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We cruise quite a lot and have been sailing Princess nearly exclusively for the last 6 years or so. We felt we owed it to ourselves to try another line and see whether we should "branch out". Here's a quick good, average ... Read More
We cruise quite a lot and have been sailing Princess nearly exclusively for the last 6 years or so. We felt we owed it to ourselves to try another line and see whether we should "branch out". Here's a quick good, average and ugly rundown. The good (sometimes great): Without question, the singers and dancers who performed many times throughout this voyage were the best we've ever seen. We were disappointed whenever a headliner was featured (the headliners were a mixed bag and on average were just OK) because that meant we wouldn't be seeing these 10 incredible performers. Kudos to HAL for producing incredible shows with minimal sets that really showcased the talent. We also need to give very high marks for the dinner service in the Open Seating MD on 4. From seating to service to food - they get a 10 out of t0. The only issue I have is not with the food or service but with the incessant upset. Some waiters were very pushy and insistent regarding the bottled water, the lobster, the 75 oz steak (OMG), the cappuccino, etc. I don't blame them, and the service was otherwise perfect, but it was sometimes pretty annoying and quite a shame given how great the food was and how hard they otherwise worked to deliver a very upscale experience. The average: On the occasions that we were able to enjoy a casual breakfast or lunch in the Lido (see the ugly for an explanation) we found the choices to be abundant, so many things to choose from but frankly the food just wasn't very good. The salad bar was OK, the dressings were bland and the service was sometimes pretty slow. We liked that food was served by staff and utensils weren't handled by passengers but it was often tedious. The offerings at the Dive In stand poolside was another option that looked better on the menu then in delivery. Again, the food was OK at best often evidenced by the amount of uneaten wasted food left around the pool tables. We tried a few times and were disappointed on each occasion. The band in the Crows Nest gets a nod for showing some enthusiasm and playing a good mix of music to dance to. The tried to keep the small crowd happy and up on their feet. The bad: We are both seniors, retired and pretty seasoned travelers and we found this ship to have a very institutional (assisted living) feel to it. We just returned from a 60 day cruise on Princess where the average age was very high. The vibe on this ship was much older. It's hard to explain but the whole experience seemed more suited to a senior center than a cruise ship despite having a large number of young families and kids away with grandma and grandpa for the holidays. --The reason we couldn't enjoy breakfast or lunch daily was because, despite having a large, two sided buffet, they simply closed the whole thing for long stretches at times when we would have enjoyed a meal or snack. If you danced till 12, relaxed with a book in your room, woke up at 9:30 and took a shower - you missed breakfast - completely closed at 10, reopen for lunch 11:30. If you get off the ship, as we did on a port day and return to the ship at 2:05 - no lunch for you - visit the Dive In or wait a few hours. If you get off the ship at an overnight port and return at 9:05 (yeah just our luck) the DR is closed, both sides of the buffet are closed and will reopen for a short When we lacked other options we waited 20 or 30 minutes until the phone got picked up. You can't have this kind of schedule unless you have an International Cafe type venue. Ridiculous. --The only reason we ever got to go to breakfast was because of the incredibly loud announcement at 9:15 most mornings. Usually you have to open your cabin door to hear what's being said. No here. The speaker was so loud that sleeping through it was impossible. My pleas to lower the volume were spoken to deaf ears (pun intended). Three times on this 17 day voyage the captain chose to have crew drills at 9 AM, blaring 7 short and 1 long blast into the cabin along with instructions to the crew. So loud. We've never been woken up by a crew drill in 100's of days cruising until now, 3 times in 2 weeks. Why? --The Ocean Bar would have been a lovely dance venue in the center of the ship but the trio catered to a very elderly crowd, particularly one couple and played slow fox trots and waltzes almost exclusively. One night we were the only people in the venue before the early show let out. After hearing two songs that were written in the 40's I asked the piano player to play a salsa, no one else is here. He told me that the band didn't have one - What? That was our last night in the Ocean Bar. --For probably half of the trip at least on hot tub was not useable because the temperature was way too high. Reports to the crew didn't solve the problem. Where was the crew regarding chemicals and temperature? On a ship with only one pool and two hot tubs this is a big issue. --Lastly, this old gal needs some service. Our cabin, 1801 had a loose panel that squeaked terribly when we had some seas. I reported it so they shimmed the panel.. It didn't work. I told the staff at Passenger Services that if it's not fixed by the time the world cruise comes about they will have a very unhappy guest. All in all we made our own good time. We were told, over and over again, not to let the problems evident on this ship keep us from trying HAL again. So many passengers we're complaining about the scheduling, the noise, etc but they indicated that it's not common. We may give them a chance if the opportunity arises but we may well stay loyal to Princess for some time. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Terrible food of lowest quality, servers untrained, waitstaff untrained, entertainment poor to non--existent! officers just apologized for staff....big deal....don't waste your money here! shore excursion extremely overpriced! ... Read More
Terrible food of lowest quality, servers untrained, waitstaff untrained, entertainment poor to non--existent! officers just apologized for staff....big deal....don't waste your money here! shore excursion extremely overpriced! hardly any vegetables offered, fruit cocktails were canned, apples were soft and brown, oranges were of the tasteless type. twice i didn't get served any breakfast in the dining room because of waiters ignorance...and i was very displeased by being placed on 'ignore', thus i had to go up to the buffet for breakfast. never again on holland america! and some nights in the theater for the evening show...they just screened dvd's that were available to view in the cabin! what kind of monkey business is that? do they think we are stupid or something??? i can't believe they think they can treat people this way and get away with it....it is extremely extremely sad! don't they know we have many other choices??? pitiful...simply pitiful. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Ship is beautiful and room lovely. BUT WE WILL NO LONGER SAIL ON HAL. As 4 star mariner we always chose to sail Holland because of ports, dancing in Ocean bar and Crows nest during happy hour and before and after the show Loved the ... Read More
Ship is beautiful and room lovely. BUT WE WILL NO LONGER SAIL ON HAL. As 4 star mariner we always chose to sail Holland because of ports, dancing in Ocean bar and Crows nest during happy hour and before and after the show Loved the wonderful shows and lots activities. There were dance lessons, keroke, games, lectures and more. BuT IT NOT NOW. Just finished an 18 day cruise. Lectures still great. Shows barely average and only 2 nights with the singers and dancers. We had 4 nights of old movies (on sea days). We can watch movies in our room or at home. No real activities except trivia. or you could learn to make a grilled cheese sandwich, or in digital learn to make a cup for fee. No live music on lidocaine or aft on sail away. Beautiful music in Lincoln center, but during dinner or late. Two night clubs with music for younger people (remember HAL dialers are generally 70 years and up . And music in clubs started at 8: 30. And it was Loud. Couldn't get mini bar filled even after calling several times a day. If you like jumbo prawns in main dining room, sorry not there. So the tips were up to $15 per person We will be looking for another cruise line. P.S. sent note toTAL and no response Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because it's round trip out of San Diego and was a very good price. We did this same cruise 2 years ago on The Westerdam. The main differences are: veranda cabins smaller, less sea day activities, no library, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it's round trip out of San Diego and was a very good price. We did this same cruise 2 years ago on The Westerdam. The main differences are: veranda cabins smaller, less sea day activities, no library, no samples for the food demonstrations and less staff in Lido. Also on The Westerdam for dinner you had appetizer, soup or salad, main course and dessert. Now appetizer and soup/salad are the same. The staff is wonderful and accomidating. The spa is overpriced and I was told on the first day The Thermal Suite is a package, no individual days. Later, they were offering it for$40.00 per day. Also the door in the women's spa would not close. I told the girls at the front desk twice, but it has not been fixed. The Dive Restaurant by the pool has great food. I used the hot tub and pool several times, and it was always clean. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my first cruise with HAL after cruising Celebrity for my last 5 cruises. I chose the cruise for the itinerary- I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and the idea of so many sea days was very attractive. Embarkation in San Diego ... Read More
This was my first cruise with HAL after cruising Celebrity for my last 5 cruises. I chose the cruise for the itinerary- I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and the idea of so many sea days was very attractive. Embarkation in San Diego went smoothly- I arrived at the port around 10:30 and was on the ship by noon. I appreciated being able to go directly to my cabin to drop off my carry-ons before heading to the MDR for lunch. I had booked an inside cabin guarantee and was placed in room 6135, category K. It wasn't the largest inside cabin I've ever stayed in, but it did the job. I liked the ability to request fresh fruit that was refilled throughout the voyage. I didn't like the pull down shelves in the closet- I prefer drawers, but loved the under the bed drawers and multiple USB charging outlets. There was some creaking and shifting noises from the ship but I heard minimal noise through the connecting door and no noise from above or below. The best decision I made was to book a retreat cabana for the length of the cruise. Although I didn't use it much on port days, it was an oasis of calm and relaxation. As a solo traveler, it can be difficult to have to carry all of your things from place to place, lose your spot in the Lido when you go back to the line to get something else to eat, leave your things if you want to go for a swim, etc. The cabana gave me a private spot that was always mine, and both breakfast and lunch service were provided, allowing me to miss the chaos in the Lido. Sparkling wine and chocolate dipped strawberries were delivered each afternoon between 3 & 3:30 People who don't cruise wonder how could I fill up 10 sea days? Very easily, between America's Test Kitchen classes, lectures on Hawaii, cultural activities like lei making and kukui nut bracelet making, and the occasional trivia contest. Hula and Ukelele lessons were offered, with students performing towards the end of the cruise on the main stage. Polyfit (a cross between Zumba and Hula) was offered 4 times and was a great way to work off the desserts and cheese fries from the Dive in. The gym was busy every morning and the full promenade deck saw people doing laps throughout the day. Evening entertainment was mixed. Only 1-2 performers in the main stage were excellent, and while I wanted to love the Billboard onboard piano bar, the nature of their improvisation too often led to discordant music that wasn't enjoyable. Lincoln Center Stage concerts with 4 piece string ensemble plus piano were excellently performed, but it would have been helpful to know what all their concerts were going to be and when so I didn't front-load my trip making sure I didn't miss something. the BB King Blue Club was excellent and where we ended many nights. For you night owls- their last set ends at 11:30 pm, and the DJ who plays after them ends around 12:15, so there isn't much to do late at night. As far as food, the Dive in (burgers, hot dogs, and fries, included) and the Tamarind (Asian-fusion, extra charge) were highlights, as was the Cellar Master's Dinner (extra charge). Food from the Lido was as expected, and food in the main dining room (MDR) was good. New York Pizza (included) and both Canaletto and the Pinnacle (extra charge) were disappointing. The Pizza always took at least 20 minutes and toppings were not evenly distributed to the point were 1-2 out of 6 pieces would only have sauce & cheese, with no other toppings. The crust was too floury. Canaletto had MDR quality food and wasn't work the minimal upcharge. The best thing I ate at the Pinnacle was the side dish of brussel sprouts- let's just leave it at that. All of the Hawaiian ports were fantastic, and the 1 ship excursion I took was a dozen or so people and worth the price I paid. Besides the food, which is always subjective, there was a general lack of consistency throughout the ship that detracted from my overall experience. None of these things were deal-breakers, or ruined my trip, but taken together, created a less than wonderful experience. Some examples include: I had booked 1 dinner in each specialty restaurant before leaving. Upon boarding, I stopped at the Pinnacle to ask how these were scheduled. They scheduled all 3 dinners for me, only for me to return to my cabin later in the day and discover that I had already been scheduled for the first night! This required me to call and have the other dinner cancelled. Since the trip was 18 days, I wanted to take advantage of the laundry service onboard. I searched everywhere in my cabin and couldn't find a laundry bag, so left a note for my cabin steward who provided one. However, he didn't provide a second one to leave in the cabin so I had to ask a second time during the cruise for another one. After asking for the second one, then an extra was provided to leave in the cabin for the future. Upon embarkation, I had 2 long pillows and 2 short pillows on my bed. Sometime in the middle of the cruise, it was changed to 1 long pillow and 3 short pillows, not due to any request of mine. Even though I slept with the long pillow on the same side of the bed every night, it was constantly moved back and forth each day as the room was made back up, requiring me to shift all the pillows back around to my preferred configuration each night. The morning of disembarkation, as the room was being readied while I was in the lido, the 2nd long pillow returned for the next guest. The cabana space is supposed to be for the exclusive use of those who have rented cabanas, yet passengers would wander through whenever they felt like it. Cabana attendants would get them to leave once they saw them, but if they were running an errand, it was up to passengers to ask people to leave. Additionally, items advertised as part of the cabana experience (fans, misters) were not provided. One day juice in the Lido was placed into the wrong sections so instead of Passion Fruit/Orange/Guava juice I got grapefruit juice. Luckily I wasn't on any medications that interact poorly with grapefruit juice. When dining alone in Canaletto and the Pinnacle, I received less attention/service than those tables near me with more than 1 person. This included not reviewing the menu or asking if I had questions & not checking in with me timely to determine if everything was OK. Again, some of these might not seem like a big deal but these were just some examples of the tiny inconsistencies that built up into a larger picture of some improvements being needed. Disembarkation in San Diego went smoothly. The ship says you can remain in your stateroom until your departure info is called, but with the room stewards moving things around and trying to get the cabin ready for the next guest, I was uncomfortable staying and so sat in a public space instead. Although everything wasn't perfect, life never is. This was a very enjoyable cruise where the positives far outweighed the negatives and I would cruise with Holland America again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
DINING: We ate in the main dining room every night but one. The service was excellent and the food was outstanding! My husband was a huge fan of the french onion soup. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill one night and were disappointed. The ... Read More
DINING: We ate in the main dining room every night but one. The service was excellent and the food was outstanding! My husband was a huge fan of the french onion soup. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill one night and were disappointed. The food was okay (we both had crab legs) but it took a little over three hours for the meal and we never did get one of our sides. We cancelled a second reservation we had made for later in the cruise. The Lido buffet was great for breakfast. After the first couple of days, we figured out the perfect time to go so that it wasn't too crowded. Ate at the Dive In for lunch one day. Good burger and yummy fries. Most other days we just snacked a little for lunch. ENTERTAINMENT: Better than I was expecting. The Main Stage had two big production shows, plus a sneak peak on the first night of the cruise. The Billboard Top 100 show was very good. We did not attend the 1000 Steps dance show. There were several comedians, all pretty good (Bud Anderson was our favorite). Tom Franek, a pianist/comedian, was outstanding. We went to both of his shows. Mike Robinson was a great ventriloquist. We also saw him twice. The This is Aloha show when we were in Honolulu was very good and the crew show was nice. Our favorite entertainment was Lincoln Center Stage and B.B Kings. I was very impressed with the caliber of musicians at Lincoln Center Stage. We were at B.B. Kings every night they performed. Talk about talented!!! We did not care for the Billboard On Board performances. One of the pianist/singers was pretty good, but the other one was awful. I have two music degrees and taught music for many years, and I just could not listen to him, he was so off pitch. ACTIVITIES: Loved the Hawaiian ambassadors. The talks and crafts were great. Went to many of the talks and enjoyed them very much. We played trivia often (my husband enjoyed the music trivia and won several pins) and we played Bingo. I actually won! We also enjoyed some time in the casino. Walked almost every morning and I participated in the On Deck for a Cause 5K. SPA: I had a manicure, pedicure, and massage. The ladies were great. I felt no pressure to buy anything. SERVICE: Asst cruise director Erica was very nice. Good sense of humor. The shopping ambassador (can't remember her name) was personable and we saw her several times in port. Aimee in the Billboard lounge waited on us each time we went to happy hour and was as sweet as could be. Stewards Komar and Yusep were great. Enrique in the Lido buffet was a hoot. Really had outstanding service from everyone we encountered. HAWAII: what can I say? It was our first trip and we will definitely go back. I scheduled all of our tours through HAL since I was unfamiliar with the ports. We may branch out on our own next time, especially in Honolulu. There was only one tour guide we didn't care for, but overall, each excursion was great. We mainly chose "overview" type excursions so that we could see as much as possible. Most of them were in small groups, thank goodness! I don't mind sharing information if anyone wants to contact me about a specific port. SHIP: LOVED the Eurodam. The size was perfect and it was just beautiful! Would definitely sail on her again. Overall, this cruise met or exceeded all of my expectations. We will definitely be doing this cruise again!!!!! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife and I have been HAL mariners for 9 years, taking an average of two cruises per year. For the last 3 years we have noticed a steep decline in overall service and are seriously considering cutting all ties with HAL. Our last ... Read More
My wife and I have been HAL mariners for 9 years, taking an average of two cruises per year. For the last 3 years we have noticed a steep decline in overall service and are seriously considering cutting all ties with HAL. Our last cruise to Hawaii on the Eurodam, was a final confirmation of declining service. The entertainment such as the country kitchen, had only a half dozen new shows for a sixteen day cruise and most of those days were at sea. This means repeating the same shows multiple times. The food in the Lido was boring and repetitive with few quality dishes being served, while the stations serving pasta and breakfast specialties were manned by improperly trained staff and resulted in long lines and waiting times. The majority of the staff continue to be friendly and helpful, but it is apparent that they are understaffed and overworked. I have never questioned the daily gratuities until now. I now believe that the gratuities are too high for the services rendered. I have contacted HAL after each cruise and shared my concerns but they do not respond in any way. They seem to be pinching pennies by reducing the quality of the service provided to their customers and hiring fewer staff. Their idea of improving your experience is to hire Oprah Winfrey and cut incentives such as payed gratuities. This is a corporate move because we have been on multiple ships and our experience was the same on each ship. I will no longer recommend HAL to anyone and have already canceled our cruise that we had booked for February 2019. Even our relationship with our booking agent at HAL, who we have dealt with since day one and consider a friend, has suffered. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We liked: the itinerary - 10 days at sea, embark from Seattle, verandah stateroom, good food, good service, good selection of at-sea activities, excellent cleanliness, good selection of in-room movies, large state room TV, had a bath tub, ... Read More
We liked: the itinerary - 10 days at sea, embark from Seattle, verandah stateroom, good food, good service, good selection of at-sea activities, excellent cleanliness, good selection of in-room movies, large state room TV, had a bath tub, free room service, excellent performances at the "Lincoln Center Stage" (The very best part of the whole cruise!), free seating option in main dinning room Didn't like: excursions - extremely over priced & poor selection (only offered excursions from a company owned by HAL), hard mattress, AC directed at head of the bed, very poor main stage performances, outrageous price to get online, HAL charges for up-grades ("Buy Ups"), very high required daily gratuity fee, no booking incentives like offered with other cruise lines, poor shops on board with overly high prices Would cruise with HAL only if we can get an extremely good price. Otherwise, there are other cruise lines that are a far better value for the price (see above). Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We were on only the first part of the cruise and got off in Hawaii. I knew the ship was not new but I found very little wear and tear. The food was good, not exceptional, except for the Mariners lunch when ONO was offered, The travelers ... Read More
We were on only the first part of the cruise and got off in Hawaii. I knew the ship was not new but I found very little wear and tear. The food was good, not exceptional, except for the Mariners lunch when ONO was offered, The travelers were mostly seniors. The young people were polite but i think disappointed with the slow pace, I was with the one in four using a cane! The staff and travelers were all polite and friendly. Those staying on to do the entire 38 days settled in with knitting, books, etc. Very little was offered so the seats filled long before the few events. The lei making was well attended so only enough flowers to make a halo lei. The observation deck is the highlight of the ship. Nothing but ocean on this cruise but it would be a delightful way to cruise Alaska. I did not want to fly both ways to Hawaii so the cruise fit my needs. It is open ocean most of the way. I loved the rolls and dips from the swells.Our cabin, guaranteed balcony, was 4005 just three cabins from the aft. This meant lots of walking to the food on the opposite end of the ship. We had a little of the entertainment noise from the deck below but it did not disturb us. Sailing into Honolulu just at sunrise was beautiful. The city light were still on as the sun came up. The doors were opened on deck 4 for the arrival. Many passengers scurrying past our door! The lack of daily activity was my only complaint but I knew that ahead of time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The ship is not new, but in good condition. Very beautiful design. Light colors in the interior visually increase the room. Paintings, fresh flowers, ship models adorn public spaces. Good service, friendly staff. Great breakfast. I love ... Read More
The ship is not new, but in good condition. Very beautiful design. Light colors in the interior visually increase the room. Paintings, fresh flowers, ship models adorn public spaces. Good service, friendly staff. Great breakfast. I love fresh berries, cottage cheese, pate, salted salmon. I have had many cruises, but HAL breakfasts are the best in my experience. In general, I liked the food on the ship. In the buffet and in the restaurant. I would like to mention the excellent cheese plate and carpaccio from what I still love. There is a pool with a retractable roof. It is very convenient for routes that have many days at sea and climate change. There is a circular walking platform. Very nice to admire the sea. You can walk, and you can sit. From the attractions I liked learning how to weave lei from orchids. Sports activities include table tennis and a basketball court. In the new ships of other companies, the choice is better. There is a free sauna, but it is very small. I enjoyed the journey on this ship as a whole. It is a pity that it was so short. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
For perspective, we have cruised over 50 times starting in 1981 and are now in our mid 60’s. We are 4 star mariners with HAL and Elite with Princess. We have also cruised with celebrity, crystal, Oceania, Royal Caribbean and a bunch of ... Read More
For perspective, we have cruised over 50 times starting in 1981 and are now in our mid 60’s. We are 4 star mariners with HAL and Elite with Princess. We have also cruised with celebrity, crystal, Oceania, Royal Caribbean and a bunch of lines that have been incorporated into other lines. The great and good. We were impressed with the consistency of the quality of the meals in MDR. We were on select dining rather than fixed. At 7:15 we did not have any wait for a table for 4. We sat in a number of different areas and the service, both wine and dinner were consistent. No wrong steps if I asked the server what was recommended that evening. Wine service showed great improvement since last year. Stewards were knowledgeable and able to recommend comparable and complimentary choices. Very good job. Lunch in Pinnacle Grill is well worth $10 pp. excellent service and selection. The Dive in burgers and fries always good as is the use of pagers. We appreciate that there is no self serve in the Lido - food consistent again - enjoyed creating fresh turkey sandwiches when the carvery had turkey. Freshly prepared eggs, omelets in morning, fresh pasta bar at lunch. We did nit visit for dinner. The entertainment was good, not fantastic but good enough to sit through. The singers didn’t seem to have synergy which affected the performance notwithstanding good voices. I guess they didn’t seem to be enjoying their jobs. The classical quartet at Lincoln centre was excellent. The piano dual were extremely popular as usual. B.B. kings was same as always. Worth a visit. Our cabin service was excellent - the hair dryer “died” on formal night of course and we had a replacement in under 10 minutes. Darn good when he was rushing to get his turn down service completed for early diners. The ship was in good shape with the promenade deck chairs seeming quite new. Everything seemed to be in very good repair. Not so great and good. Having sailed on holland just 12 months previous, the increase in prices for drinks, happy hours, wine packages, wine tastings, sip and savour were surprising, not that there were increases but how large the increases were. Normally, price increases kind of sneak up on you, these increases slapped you in the face. Very limited daily programs - many days at sea and we expected to have morning and afternoon guest lecturers. Basically there was just not enough enrichment offered. It was a problem because we had very poor weather and a nasty Pacific Ocean — so with no library, no morning movies, no matinees at a convenient time yo7 were either forced to stay in your cabin to watch tv. I looked forward to trivia at 1:30 - hadn’t played before so that says something. Minimal inventory in the shops and no fun sales. Duty free was anything but with the prices exceeding what we would pay in a government liquor store. We bought vodka at Walmart in Honolulu and had it checked until we got home. Servicein pinnacle grill for dinner was not up to standard. We were seated at a table just outside the galley door at the service station for a large area. The back of the banquet we were seated a5 held the water jugs for the area. The wine server gave us a bit of snark for firstly not ordering wine off the pinnacle list (we had wine package) and our friends asked to have their bottle brought from diningroom. It arrived but then the steward divided the more than half bottle into their two glasses. It was the lady’s wine. And that was the last we saw of him. We still enjoy the formal night aspect of cruising and we don’t expect everyone else will but I don’t understand why some guests make no effort what so ever. I have never seen such a motley group of travellers. I guess I don’t understand the issue of a gentleman wearing a pair of slacks and a shirt and a lady wearing a sundress or pants and a nice blouse. Something you might wear to a church wedding or special dinner out. Undershirt style t shirts , perhaps not. It’s a part of the tradition. Lastly, and in my opinion only, cruise lines in general need to reassess their policies on tendering. The mobility challenged create an unreasonable risk to themselves, the crew, and other passengers. Our tenders were full of wheelchairs and walkers presenting a hazard should we needed to evacuate the tender., the crew basically are lifting a lot of people on and off. It is not fair to them particularly if there is an accident. And one guest died after falling while trying to get onto a tender. The tender ports are well advertised and it should be acceptable that walkers/wheelchairs and those requiring the same be denied tender service. Everyone knows upfront and may gear 5heir cruises to itineraries with no tendering required. It is just plain scary. An average experience . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We sailed from Vancouver on April 12. It was cold for the first 3 days and the last 3 days. Even the Canadians were wearing their coats outside. Many people hung out on the aft pool deck because there is no smoking on the ship except ... Read More
We sailed from Vancouver on April 12. It was cold for the first 3 days and the last 3 days. Even the Canadians were wearing their coats outside. Many people hung out on the aft pool deck because there is no smoking on the ship except for a designated area on the aft pool deck. There is no cigar lounge. Many people were seasick the first day due to rough seas. The mid-ship pool is in a large atrium that can be opened, a great feature for a ship especially one sailing through varying weather. It was warm in there when cold outside. In warm weather, they did open it. We had fixed dinner reservations for 5:45. A 7:45 seating and walk-in dining were also available. The dinners were all very good. Portions were right-sized but they would be happy to bring you seconds if you wanted. We ate at each of the specialty restaurants once. There were certainly good too but we thought the value proposition is questionable given the quality of the main dining room. At the Lido buffet, the food is put on plates by servers, as opposed to the self-serve we were used too. Their lunch time taco bar and hamburger stand was very good. It was hard to find a seat during breakfast and lunch, they could definitely use more tables in the public areas. Drinks were about $7 for a beer and about $8 - $9 for a cocktail. But, they have two happy hours, one from 4 - 5 pm and one from 10 - 11 pm. During happy hour, you can get a second drink for $2 more. Happy hour is only valid at two of the bars. They are named on the daily itinerary sheet that is placed in your cabin. Fountain sodas are $2:30 each. The entertainment was good. The main stage was typical cruise ship entertainment, mostly singers and one magician that was very funny. We especially enjoyed the BB King Blues Club. They have a laundry service that can be unlimited, by the item, or by the bag. The by the bag option was $20 per bag and we could stuff about 3- 5 days of clothes in a bag. Highlights of the trip included the Capilano suspension bridge in Vancouver, the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui, the Arizona Memorial, and hiking Diamond Head. Try to get your tickets to the Arizona memorial in advance or you may not get in. Hiking Diamond Head requires the ability to walk 2 miles and climb many stairs. On days the ship tenders, be sure to pick up your tender tickets early or you may be waiting a long time to get off the ship. It seemed to take forever to get anywhere on the public bus in Honolulu. We finally gave up and used Uber. The gym was large and in good shape. It had several treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and weight some weight equipment. They offered several classes for additional fee including spin, stretching, yoga, etc. Computer classes were offered daily, but they filled up quickly. You had to be there well in advance to get a seat. All are listed on the ship's daily itinerary. Classes from America's Test Kitchen were offered daily in the BB King Blues Lounge. They were informative and entertaining. You don't get to eat the food though. Read Less
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